The ATR 72MP, designed and built by Leonardo’s Aircraft Division, was developed from the commercial “best seller” ATR 72-600 to carry out a vast range of missions. It combines the layout, reliability, maintainability and low life-cycle costs of the typical of civilian ATRs with a cutting-edge mission system, manufactured by Leonardo, advanced sensors and a comprehensive communications suite with excellent Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities. The basic ATR 72MP missions portfolio includes maritime surveillance tasks (monitoring of sea lanes, fisheries protection, prevention and contrast of activities such as piracy, smuggling, drugs trafficking and illegal immigration), Exclusive Economic Zones patrolling and Search and Rescue. This aircraft can also function as a flying command post for the in-flight management of complex airborne missions involving several air and naval assets. It’s the multi-role ATR 72MP aircraft, is in service with the Italian Air Force.
The core of the ATR 72MP’s mission suite is its modular mission ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) system. Designed by Leonardo’s Airborne and Space Systems Division, ATOS manages the aircraft’s wide spectrum of sensors, combining the information received in a comprehensive tactical situation and showing the results to mission system operators in the most suitable format, thus providing excellent situational awareness. Thanks to its advanced man-machine interface, only two system operators are needed to make full use of ATOS in the standard aircraft configuration. A complete C4I systems suite is available: multi-datalink fully integrating Link 16, Link 11, Satcom Ku/Ka, VORTEX, VMF and Radar Classifier, in addition to ESM ELINT (Electronic Support Measures – ELectronic INTelligence) capabilities.
The basic configuration includes first of all the Seaspray 7300E, active electronic scanned array multimode radar by Leonardo’s Airborne and Space Systems Division, capable of long range detection, monitoring and identifying targets, covering 360°. Real time mapping of large areas is possible and so are snapshots of medium-sized fixed targets, such as buildings, with the “Synthetic Aperture Radar” mode, while the “Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar” mode is used to obtain profiles of naval targets. To support targets identification, a friend or foe interrogator and/or an automatic target classifier can optionally be coupled with the radar. The electro-optical turret FLIR Systems Star Safire 380 HD includes various optical sensors (a high-definition TV camera, an advanced infrared vision system, a low light TV camera), ensuring the passive targets detection and identification in any light condition. Optional sensors may be added by incorporating a rangefinder, an illuminator and a target designator in the turret.
For the identification and localisation of any target equipped with the AIS transponder type, the Automatic Identification System allows for producing a complete picture of the position and identity of the naval units in the area. For search and rescue operations, the Direction Finder is capable of locating the direction of radio emitters in the frequency range mainly used during SAR missions (30-410 MHz). In addition to the IFF transponder, the avionics suite of the aircraft adds to the advanced digital cockpit of the ATR 72-600 two INS/GPS systems and a TACAN for navigation and a tactical display in the cockpit that provides pilots with mission system data. The basic communications suite includes 3 V/UHF radios and a HF radio, managed through an advanced internal communication system. A wide band SATCOM system and a data link allow for the exchange of mission data with other cooperating assets and ground control centers. The communications suite can be expanded to meet the specific needs of the customer, for example by adding an additional radio (V/UHF or HF) or including specific data link types.